ISRO's latest communication satellite, INSAT-3E, has been transported to Kourou in French Guyana for its
launch on board the European Ariane launch vehicle by the end of August 2003.
The spacecraft, along with the ground check out and other equipment left
Bangalore at 3-30 am on July 15, 2003 by an AN-124 cargo aircraft and reached
Cayenne Airport at 1 pm IST yesterday (July 16, 2003). The satellite was then
transported by road to the launch centre at Kourou in French Guyana.
INSAT-3E is the fourth satellite to be launched in the INSAT-3 series. INSAT-3A,
INSAT-3B and INSAT-3C have already been commissioned and INSAT-3D, an advanced
meteorological satellite, will be launched during 2004-05.
Weighing 2750 kg at lift off, INSAT-3E carries 24 C-band transponders and 12
extended C-band transponders. When commissioned, the satellite will
substantially enhance the INSAT system capacity, which now provides about 120
transponders in C-band, extended C-band, Ku-band and S-band meeting the
requirement of various users.
In the coming weeks, the appendages like antennae and solar panels will be
integrated with INSAT-3E and the total spacecraft tested in detail. After
propellant filling operations, it will be mated with the Ariane vehicle for its